Family Chicken Cassoulet

Now my kids have an aversion to chicken casserole – that bung-it-all-in staple that I remember from my childhood. So this is my new improved version that my children absolutely love.

So what’s changed?

Let’s start with the name. A cassoulet is always better than a casserole. How many casseroles do you see on restaurant menus?

Secondly, there is the addition of little spice. Just enough to give it some warmth rather than feel in any way ‘spicy’ (My children don’t trust anything ‘spicy’!)

And thirdly the chicken is lovely lightly poached chicken fillets. Very succulent and tasty with no weird chewiness or bones for them to complain about.

Please give it a go and let me know what you think…

Family Chicken Cassoulet

Serves 4 • Ready in 1 hour

Serve with mashed potato and some broccoli for the perfect family meal.

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, trimmed and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
100ml red wine
300ml water
1 tsp dried thyme
1 heaped tsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste
1 tsp walnut oil
1 bay leaf
1 x 400g can butterbeans, drained
2 tsp (10g) butter
2 chicken breasts (approx 300g total), cut into cubes

• Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, stir, replace the lid and cook gently for 5-8 minutes until soft.
• Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, red wine, water, thyme, brown sugar, chilli powder, smoked paprika, salt, walnut oil and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook with the lid ajar for about 30 minutes. Add the butterbeans.
• Heat the butter in a frying pan. When the butter has melted, add the chicken pieces and fry for approximately 2 mins each side until golden brown but not cooked through.
• Add the chicken to the cassoulet, bring back to a gentle simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked and tender. Remove the bay leaf before serving.